Yo, Rvssian! An Interview with Vybz Kartel’s Favorite Producer

March 14, 2014


LargeUp: How did you break into the production business in Jamaica?

Rvssian: I did it kind of myself. I never really knew anybody. One day, I remember it was a rainy day in the summer, I said, Yo, if by December I don’t have a song buzzing then I just got to say screw it with music. ‘Cause I was contemplating going away to school at the time to study something else. And I just went hard for that whole period of about eight months. I got the songs and just went to the streets. I promoted it myself, made people see my face, introduced myself and everybody just respected that. They were like Yo, who’s this likkle uptown light skinned yout’ going to these ghetto parties, going everywhere across Jamaica? People just showed me love, and I just learned the industry pretty much. I mean, that was just it.

LU: Do you think having a name like “Russian” that sounded different helped you get noticed?

Rvssian: Yeah, I think having that name and my look helped me out ’cause there is nobody who looks like me in terms of hardcore dancehall. So I figured the looks and name kind of shocked people, and impressed them.

LU: So you recently changed your name…

Rvssian: I have the same name, it’s pronounced the same way, it’s just instead of a ‘u’ it’s a ‘v.’ That ways it’s easier to find me on the Internet, because it’s more unique. Back in the 18th century they used to use ‘v’s instead of ‘u’s on street signs. As a known example, there is Bvlgari, the brand with the ‘v.’ A lot of fans were complaining that they couldn’t find me on Instagram, Twitter, or my songs. When you type in ‘Russian’ you find a million different people who are actually from Russia the country, so that was a problem. It was almost a re-brand, a recreation soย  people embraced it.

LU: You don’t have as much of a signature sound as certain producers where you instantly hear their rhythm and you know it’s them.

Rvssian: Well, I think I do, but at the same time I don’t. It’s hard to explain. Like, a person will notice my riddim or my beat in dancehall because they know that nobody else in dancehall uses these sounds. I go for the most weird sounds. I think my stuff is more weird than anybody else. The drums and the basslinesย might be authentic but the lead sound stands out. When people hear it, they might not notice my production, they might just assume when they hear something out-of-the-box weird, alright that might be a Rvssian production. I figure that’s how people look at it.

Read on for more of the interview.